A healthy diet and regular exercise program not only will improve your appearance, but it also can improve your health and decrease your risk of developing certain diseases. Recent studies by Harvard researchers have concluded that moderate exercise and a healthy diet can prevent most cases of type 2 diabetes - the most common form of diabetes. The study overwhelmingly indicated that by making the appropriate lifestyle changes, diabetes can be prevented over 90% of the time. The study also concluded that lifestyle changes significantly reduced the risk of getting the disease by 58% among people who already showed signs of developing diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for over 90% of all diabetes cases. It occurs when your body can not properly utilize insulin in getting nutrients to your cells. This results in high levels of sugar in your blood. The number of cases of diabetes has been growing rapidly. Studies indicate that over 16 million Americans have some form of diabetes! Type 2 diabetes used to be considered a disease of the old, but not anymore. It is becoming much more prevalent in younger people and has recently been showing an alarming increase among young people.
Diabetes is a disease where your underlying genetic background is critical. If you have these genes and are at risk of developing diabetes, your lifestyle decisions very well may determine whether these genes become active or remain dormant.
What is most interesting is that Harvard researchers determined that 91% of cases among the people they studied could have been prevented by watching their weight, eating a healthy diet, moderate exercise, and not drinking and smoking. Being overweight is the number one reason people contract diabetes -61% of all cases are attributed to obesity and weight problems.
Some other interesting facts: Overweight women cut their risk by 24% simply by walking regularly. There is a direct correlation between the amount of exercise and instances of diabetes. The more exercise, the less instances. Those who did 7 or more hours a week of exercise had a 29% lower risk than those who did not exercise or exercised less than 30 minutes per week. Eating a diet that is high in fiber, low in fat and low in partially hydrogenated oils (french fries, commercial baked goods) also significantly decreases your risk. If you already do not do so, become a label reader!
Pepper may not just be for seasoning. Capsaicin is a protein compound found in pepper and peppers significantly lowers blood sugar levels and increases insulin levels. Researchers have not concluded if the pepper compound acts by increasing the release of insulin, or by slowing its breakdown. Large doses of aspirin also lower your blood sugar and is an effective treatment of diabetes, but researchers warn that that the large doses required have detrimental side effects (intestinal bleeding, dizziness, nausea) that outweigh the benefits.
There are many diseases and illnesses you have no control over, but type 2 diabetes is highly preventable by watching your weight, exercising, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking or drinking.
- About Diabetes
- Are you at Risk of Contracting Diabetes?
- Blood Glucose Testing
- About the glucose tolerance test